Workplace Health and Safety: Frequently Asked Questions
- How Am I Legally Protected To Ensure My Workplace Is Safe?
- What Are My Worker Rights Under the OSH Act?
- What Should I Do if I Suffer an Injury at Work?
- Is Exposure to Tobacco Smoke in the Workplace Governed by OSHA?
At Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers, we understand that a safe workplace is paramount. You are safeguarded by both federal and state laws from dangers in the workplace. Predominant among these is the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act), designed to ensure employer compliance with health and safety standards, and equip workers with the knowledge of their rights. For state-specific safety laws, consult your local state labor department.
Your safety is non-negotiable. The OSH Act affords you the right to refuse work in the presence of immediate danger to life. Beyond such emergencies, it grants you a series of critical rights, which, when understood and exercised effectively, can significantly enhance workplace safety:
- Receive proper training on health and safety standards your employer must adhere to.
- Learn about hazardous chemicals present and appropriate self-protection measures.
- Gain knowledge on all potential health and safety threats present in your work area.
- Request details from your employer regarding OSH Act standards, incidents, hazards, and your rights as a worker.
- Present concerns to your employer to rectify any hazards or OSH Act infringements.
- File a complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
- Propose an OSHA inspection of your workplace, and later review the inspection findings.
- Submit a complaint against employer retaliation due to exercising your rights under the act.
- Advocate for federal investigations into suspected workplace dangers.
For additional details on your rights under OSHA or for local OSHA office information, please visit the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's official site at www.osha.gov.
In the unfortunate event of a workplace injury, Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers advise you to:
- Promptly file for workers' compensation benefits to cover medical expenses and reimburse lost wages or injuries. Note that adherence to specific state safety laws may enhance the benefits you receive.
- Notify your employer of the existing hazard or perilous condition. Collective employee reports strengthen your case for expeditious remediation.
- Should the issue persist, escalate the complaint to OSHA, or other relevant local agencies, especially if they specialize in the nature of your complaint.
- In cases where the danger is immediate and life-threatening, contact OSHA's emergency helpline directly at 800-321-OSHA (6742).
Workplace air quality, including exposure to tobacco smoke, is subject to OSHA regulations in specific, severe conditions—for instance, if tobacco smoke interacts with industrial contaminants, creating a hazardous air supply below OSHA approved standards. Determining such conditions often requires the expertise of OSHA agents or environmental consultants. General tobacco smoke concerns, however, typically fall outside the realm of OSHA provisions.
If you have any further questions or need legal assistance, do not hesitate to contact Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers at (800) 654-1949. Remember, your initial consultation is free. Our team is ready to help ensure your workplace rights are fully protected.